A true sign of a great actor is meeting them in person and feeling almost no trace of the character you’ve come to know them for. The moment he walked into his 26 Magazine cover shoot with us, it was like seeing the doppelgänger of someone we thought we knew? When an actor does such a masterful job at their craft, we sometimes fully, earnestly believe them, causing moments of pause and recalibration when meeting them face to face. The person who greeted us at the stage door this day was in fact notFrank Delfino (the character that audiences have come to love for 5 seasons now on the ABC staple “How to Get Away with Murder”). We were meeting CHARLIE. Charlie Weber to be exact, whose own identity and energy were delightfully intriguing in both equal and opposite ways! The thing about the Frank character is well, albeit dark and mysterious you just sort of love him. He’s twisty, turny, bruised, rough, rugged and raw all with alluring heartstrings tethered to his undying loyalty/love to powerhouse Viola Davis’ character [Annalise Keating] and her mischievous brood. So there we were, in the excitement of meeting a face from an admitted television fave while also processing how to feel about this much lighter version of Frank’s host. Add in our intentional alter ego’d wardrobe selection via our "wild winter in Havana" moodboard and we walked away with a pretty robust ride of a shoot that even left us wondering “How did we get awaywith outfitting HTGAWM actor Charlie Weber in any of these very vivid pieces? The truth was that he was probably one of the most easy-going souls we’ve had on set and our look into his past and present helped us tune into our quest of channeling Charlie:
Let’s start from the beginning Charlie, where are you from, where did you grow up? -I’m from Jefferson City, Missouri.
Now there’s a different answer, WHERE is that? -[Laughs] It’s right in the middle of Missouri, it’s the capital but it’s also pretty much a small town, you know right in the middle of 'Merica'.
So let’s expound upon this. One day you’re in Jefferson Missouri, the next your in Hollywood California, how did that happen? -It was a LONG road and a long time ago. I guess I just wanted to seek out a life kind of “less ordinary” so I moved to New York when I was 19. I went through one year of college (which sort of cemented the fact that I shouldn’t be in school) learned that lesson, dropped out, moved to New York, started studying [acting] and here we are 20 years later in Hollywood!
Suit: TopMan, Shirt: Raga Man, Rose Tie: TopMan
So was acting the goal when you moved to New York? -It was, but honestly I didn’t know the “how” …I didn’t know how that was going to happen. It all just kind of fell together, but I knew I just needed to get out into the world to see what would happen to me. So yes it was the goal, I just didn’t know then HOW I was going to make it a reality. Thankfully, it just sort of took shape!
Sounds like you acted out the exact method of manifestation, you set an intention and were open to any way it would show up for you. -Yes! I sort of just jumped into the deep end.
That’s awesome, surely there are tons of people who can relate to just wanting to get out of the “small town” life? -Sure! And you know, the alternative seems very comforting, I just knew at an early age that I wanted to at least try for something different. At the core of it I knew I could’ve always gone back to that safer choice, I knew it would’ve always been there for me, but there are some of us who need to see what could happen if we just take that leap out into this big brave world.
Well aren’t you glad that you took the leap? Very! Very glad. [laughs]
Shirt: TopMan, Pant: TopMan
So Missouri, then to NYC. So many people detour to NYC first, why do you think that is? For myself I was looking for the BIGGEST culture shock possible!
New York will certainly provide that for you! Also, as cliche as it sounds, the sentiment is indeed true, if you can make it there, you really can make it anywhere. -Definitely! They don’t say that for no reason, New York is the biggest city there is, it’s the real deal.
Alright so now we’re in Hollywood and while we know you from other roles, the BIG one, the instant face equity, instant recognition one is “Frank Delfino”. What was that like the day that you found out that you were casted as Frank? -It was surreal. I can say that it FELT right, if that makes any sense. It felt right to get this character because I could already feel him in my bones in a way. Overall I was just very happy that it worked out and that I got the chance to explore this guy because there wasn’t a lot there initially. He was written as just this sort of brooding guy, with his arms crossed in the corner of the room, but I saw a lot in Frank. I think was able to sort of bring that in early and it’s been quite a ride!
Did you know prior to showing up to work that first day who was going to be on the cast? Or was it all a surprise? -I found out the same day about Viola, which definitely blew my mind, I couldn’t believe that was real. I was already SO stoked about getting the part, finding that out after was like a whole other realm of unbelievable.
Were you nervous? -I was very nervous filming the pilot for sure. But then luckily over the course of time, it just becomes common place, which is still so wild that getting up and going to act with Viola Davis is a part of my day and has become my normal. Somedays it’s still wild to wrap my brain around it all.
Sweater: TopMan, Pant: TopMan, Shirt: Raga Man
Well you’re doing a stand up job Charlie! Meeting you on set today for the first time, we felt a clear difference between you and your character, which speaks volumes about you as an actor in your craft. So we have to ask, WHERE do you go to find Frank, to channel him & all of his complicated parts? -You know, I think Frank is the perfect way to channel all of the dark parts inside of my self into a separate entity & let him live that out. However Frank & I, we do share the same heart and that ’s something I can’t quite separate. Whenever I create a character, they seem to get some of my heart. So you take all of that darkness and then give him this heart and you get Frank Delfino.
Right that's the thing, he’s obviously not the most morally sound guy, but as viewers we can’t help but love him. It’s sort of nice to know that it sounds like we’re secretly also loving Charlie in the process as well. -Giving Frank that was interesting. To let him have that [part of me], was interesting because initially I didn’t want that for him. He just sort of inherited it from me and its been an interesting thing to see sort of that “sympathy for the devil” vibe that the audience has with him. He doesn’t necessarily mean wrong, he’s trying to exhibit love, he’s just very very very misguided.
Well it works, and honestly we need you there, the show wouldn’t be the same without you AND Frank’s collaborative energy. -Wow, Thank you!
So for us here @ 26, we talk quite a bit about luxury, for us luxury is mostly about how the way you think can manifest the very best life for you. What would you say is your definition of luxury? - I think just being comfortable in what you’re doing. Luxury for me is just traveling, being happy in the moments that you’re in. Happy is not a common state of mind for me, so I think, luxury for me is just enjoying the space around you and the people around you.
What’s a thing that our 26ers would be surprised to know that you enjoy as a pastime? Like do you garden or anything? [LOL] Ha! I would totally garden if I had the space! Honestly no big surprise here; traveling, spending time with friends and family, I have a daughter, I play around with my guitar, watch movies and read books. That's the whole Charlie package :)
Sounds pretty perfect Charlie. Be sure to continue to catch up on Charlie’s stellar performance on “How to Get Away with Murder” available on all ABC platforms!
Photography: Corey S. Guevarra for CYOER Photo Wardrobe: Kwame Waters Grooming: Reginald Raphael